Greener Ways to Stay Cool This Summer
Keep Your Family Cool and Comfortable All Summer
You have certainly heard it before – adjusting your air conditioning to a few degrees warmer can help you save money on utility bills. But what if you are still uncomfortable? Follow these simple, green tips to help stay cool this summer, no matter what the thermostat says.
No, a potted fern in the living room isn’t going to keep you cool, but planting shade trees, climbing perennials and vines can shelter your home from the sun’s rays and significantly reduce the amount of heat buildup inside your house.
If you turn your air conditioner on and off as the outdoor temperature changes, you could be wasting a lot of energy and money. Instead, try keeping your house at a consistent temperature and open windows on cooler summer days. Encourage air circulation by opening the bottom portion of the windows on the windy side of your house, and open the top portion of the windows on the opposite side of the house. Warm air will flow out through the top of the windows; cooler air will flow in through the bottom.
When opening the windows isn’t enough – or isn’t possible – you can increase air flow in your home by turning on ceiling fans. They are relatively inexpensive, energy-efficient, effectively draw hot air out while pulling cool air down, and they help you feel cooler. If you don’t have ceiling fans, consider installing them in your main living space and in any occupied bedrooms.
Even on the hottest of summer days, the temperature in your favorite shady spot can be as many as 20 degrees cooler than in direct sunlight. Whether you install an awning over your deck or patio, or set up a hammock or comfy chair under a tree, you can enjoy the great outdoors in cool comfort.
Unfortunately, increasing your evening cocktail intake probably won’t help you cool off, but staying hydrated with plenty of non-alcoholic fluids will. As your body heats up, you sweat more in an effort to cool down. This excess perspiration can lead to dehydration if you are not careful. Drink plenty of cold water, lemonade, iced tea, sports drinks, or juices throughout the day to replace lost fluids.
A cold, wet towel wrapped around your neck is one of the most effective ways to cool down quickly on a hot day. The cold compress cools the blood as it passes through your veins, helping to lower your body temperature. Keep a few damp hand towels in your fridge or freezer so you have always got one on hand.
No Pool, No Problem
A cool shower can be as refreshing as a dip in the pool. Try this trick at the height of the afternoon heat or just before you go to bed. You will remove excess sweat from your body (which can make you feel sticky and uncomfortable) and will open your pores to help your body cool off faster.